A simple guide to the production process of polymers

Polymers are derived from petroleum, they have gone from being cheap substitutes for natural products to providing high-quality options for a wide variety of applications.

Polymers are now produced in great quantity and variety. Polymers are used as film packaging, solid molded forms for automobile body parts and TV cabinets, composites for golf clubs and aircraft parts (airframe as well as interior), foams for coffee cups and refrigerator insulation, fibers for clothing and carpets, adhesives for attaching anything to anything, rubber for tires and tubing, paints and other coatings to beautify and prolong the life of other materials, and a myriad of other uses. 

It would be impossible to conceive of our modern world without the ubiquitous presence of polymeric materials. Polymers have become an integral part of our society, serving sophisticated functions that improve the quality of our life.

Polymer processing is defined as the ‘‘engineering activity concerned with operations carried out on polymeric materials or systems to increase their utility’’

Polymer Processing

There are many processes for plastics. Selection of a process depends on many factors including:

- Quantity and production rate
- Dimensional accuracy and surface finish

- Form and detail of the product
- Nature of material
- Size of final product

In general, plastics processes have three phases:

  • Heating - To soften or melt the plastic
  • Shaping / Forming - Under constraint of some kind
  • Cooling - So that it retains its shape

Polymer training will help further develop your understanding in injection moulding, blow moulding and extrusion, which are all methods in the polymer production process. 

Not sure what how polymer production works? Find out more on our polymer training courses and see for yourself if our polymer courses meet your needs.

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